Well. Last night I finally had what I’d describe as a more difficult alcohol free night. We went to my sister-in-law’s for drinks, and then out to a pub for a bite to eat. First there was wine. Then there was beer. And I wouldn’t go so far as to say I was foaming at the mouth for a drink, but I did feel antsy and on edge all night.
There were many beers on tap a the pub, an I was missing the ritual of perusing the menu and engaging my Beer Snob Superpowers to grill the server about unfamiliar micro-brews. I had a tiny flash of the fuck-its. I felt a little sorry for myself ordering my soda and lime.
Then I felt pissed off. Because there just isn’t any logical connection between alcohol and fun; yet, this tape was playing in my head that the evening was somehow less complete, less “fun” without drinking. That turned in to a self-conscious kind of “Here I am socializing and not drinking. Am I still having fun? What is fun anyway?” It was like being a third party, watching and evaluating a stranger called Abstinent Moi.
Times like this I’m grateful for the stories of others who are further along this road than I am, and who provide reassurance that drinking does eventually fade in to the background of your life so that you are not uncomfortable or anxious in social situations.
I can also imagine what it must be like for folks who go the “white knuckling” route, feeling more like they have to quit drinking rather than that they want to. The stress of carrying that around every day would be dreadful. If nothing else, last night re-affirmed to me that I want to quit, because I just kept reminding myself that it’s going to be worth it to get through the difficult days and events. I do have faith.